He stood in the area of the big grassy lot that was supposed to represent the outfield. He kept pushing his hat forward on his head, one little tap here and there, until it completely covered his eyes. Finally, it fell off into the grass, where he dove for it.
It’s not like he was missing much. The pint-sized batters were rarely capable of hitting the ball that far. The truth is that he wasn’t seeing much action out there, inside the little world he had created in his mind, in right field, where boredom doesn’t really exist–just freedom. Freedom to dive for your hat and then turn your face up to the sunshine and the cool breeze, in the vicinity of tiny excited ballplayers with their brand new bats and gloves that hadn’t yet been broken in.
He squinted toward the makeshift batter’s box as the future men of the world swung hard and most often missed. He didn’t seem to mind. Occasionally he got into a ready position, beating his glove with his free hand, daring a batter to send a fresh white ball his way. But, for the most part, he played with his hat, tossed his glove into the air, and stood completely unprepared for a ball to be hit in his direction.
While I sat a distance away in my lawn chair, I began to wonder if Christianity isn’t turning into a whole field full of little daydreamers. Are we guilty of happily playing together with virtually no awareness of what is actually happening? Do we blindly read and repost bad teaching simply because we are utterly unprepared for the good writing, for the legitimate-sounding words which are actually contradicting and undermining the Bible that we claim is so important to us? Are we so blissfully ignorant that we really aren’t even a part of the game anymore? Like a little boy chasing butterflies in the outfield, have we removed ourselves from the conversation?
Sometimes I wonder.
Because there is a whole world of bad thinking out there. And, we can’t even begin to speak against it because we don’t know how. We don’t know what we believe or why. And, we never fail to fall for the siren songs of self-improvement and prosperity.
It’s time to get in the game.
My little leaguer finished up his practice tonight pleased with how the evening went. He enjoyed himself, made a few plays here and there,and managed not to get pegged in the head with a line drive. In his mind, these are triumphs. But, they aren’t exactly the marks of a pro.
The Bible tells us that as Christians we are to be major leaguers. We should be prepared. We should be aware. We shouldn’t spend our entire lives floating around the periphery of this faith, content to lean on what we learned as children in Sunday school. No, Christianity is a deep faith that should be deeply understood by its people, especially now, when the world and even parts of the church seem so anxious to tear it apart.
Whether or not we are prepared, the line drives are coming at us from all directions. Will we continue to pick flowers in right field, or will we confidently stand ready and able to give an answer to those who question us? The time is now.
Get in the game.